Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A country or part of a country lying wholly within the boundaries of another.
  • n. A distinctly bounded area enclosed within a larger unit: ethnic enclaves in a large city.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A political, cultural or social entity or part thereof that is completely surrounded by another.
  • n. A group that is set off from a larger population by its characteristic or behavior.
  • v. To enclose within a foreign territory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tract of land or a territory inclosed within another territory of which it is independent. See exclave.
  • transitive v. To inclose within an alien territory.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To inclose or surround, as a region or state, by the territories of another power.
  • In heraldry:
  • n. Something closed; specifically, a small outlying portion of a country which is entirely surrounded by the territories of another power. Enclaves are especially common among the states of the German empire.
  • n. In heraldry, anything let into something else, especially when the thing let in is square.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct from the foreign territory that surrounds it

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from Old French enclaver, to enclose, from Vulgar Latin *inclāvāre : Latin in-, in; see en-1 + Latin clāvis, key.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French enclave, from Middle French enclave ("enclave"), deverbal of Middle French enclaver ("to inclose"), from Old French enclaver ("to inclose, lock in"), from Vulgar Latin *inclāvāre ("to lock in"), from in + clavis ("key") or clavus ("nail, bolt"). Compare inlock.

Examples

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